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Metal/Prog Metal Concert Reviews

Morbid Angel

Live In Dekalb, IL, 2002

Review by Mike Korn

The peaceful farming community of Dekalb, IL, was rocked to its very foundations by the devastating 1-2 punch of Motorhead and Morbid Angel on May 7, 2002. When these veterans of the metal scene finished their assault, the cornfields surrounding Dekalb probably resembled the scorched earth of a battleground more than anything else. The setting was Otto's Niteclub; a well-respected venue often attended by students from nearby NIU. I doubt seriously if Otto's ever had to deal with volume and aggression like they did on this night. After withering sets by opening bands Today Is The Day and Speedealer, the mighty Morbid Angel took the stage. Morbid are death metal's reigning elder gods. They bow to no trend and follow no path save their own. They ravaged the crowd with a brutal opening assault of "Summoning Redemption". The pit was sick and furious for Morbid Angel during the whole set and it seemed obvious there were quite a few that were at Otto's to catch them instead of the headliners.

The lead vocalist slot for the band has been a procession of musical chairs recently but I believe Hate Eternal's Jared Anderson is still taking those duties. He handled the mike with authority and delivered the band's growling, bellowing lyrics with gusto. I can't believe that guitarist Erik Rutan's head didn't fall off; such were his constant head-banging and hair-whipping antics. Pete Sandoval's brutal double bass drumming was spot on and jaw-dropping as usual but it was guitarist Trey Azagthoth who really opened eyes. This man is truly the Eddie Van Halen of death metal, pulling off weird and off the wall solos and fills with great ease.

Morbid Angel's set was unfortunately short but was perked up by the appearance of old favorites like "Maze of Torment", "Blasphemy" and, of course, the final barrage of "Chapel of Ghouls". After all these years, I still like the band's oldest material the best and they seem to sense that the crowd does, too. This was a vicious and precise attack of pure death metal with no quarter asked or given.

This review is available in book format (hardcover and paperback) in Music Street Journal: 2002 Year Book Volume 3 at
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